Vitamin D Protects Arteries

Vitamin D Protects Arteries

Not only it helps repair the endothelium, but slows aging, improves its structure and function and decreases the load of collagen, which is what hardens the arteries.

ARGENTINA – A group of researchers from the Faculty of Medicine of the National University of Tucuman and the Higher Institute for Biological Research (INSIBIO) in Argentina, conducted a study on the effects of vitamin D in the cells of endothelial precursor phenotype. These cells are derived from bone marrow and play an important role in the repair of the endothelium (tissue lining inside blood vessels).

The team conducted studies in experimental animals and found the protective effects of this vitamin in the arteries. Not only it helps repair the endothelium, but slows aging, improves its structure and function and decreases the load of collagen, which is what hardens the arteries.

The team is led by Dr. Maria Biology Bruno Peral and doctors involved Turoni Joo Claudio Ariel Alberstein, Juan Muntaner, Juan Carlos Santos, Alfredo Coviello and biochemist Paul Saguir. In addition students make up the group of Medicine: Hassan Chabán Jose pallier, Magdalena Frias Silva, Gaspar Olaso, Julieta De Boeck and Irina Mamaní.

Alberstein listed as the first author of the work and who brought the idea of working with endothelial progenitor cells. The specialist explained to Argentina Investiga that although vitamin D was postulated long ago as cardiovascular protection factor, this hypothesis was later discarded.

Bruno Peral said his research group has studied the endothelium and vascular arterial problems over fifteen years ago, but only in the last year they began to unravel the effects of vitamin D on these cells and the vascular system. On the tests, he said that vitamin D administered in animals orally and daily for four weeks. Then controls performed to verify vascular function and the release of nitric oxide (which is a protective substance endothelium).

As a result they found that nitric oxide levels were increased in the arteries of rats and the new endothelial cell population was protected. But also they verified that the arterial tissue became more effective because it increased their ability to contract and relax.

Turoni Joo said that vitamin D is used in patients with renal impairment and that the new contribution of this research is to test its effects on vascular protection from the beginning, ie from before damage occurs. He said that they found in their research that the arteries supplying vitamin D aged slower, improved function, decreased load of collagen and blood pressure is not disturbed.

The researchers explained that their investigation is a translational model, ie, carried from the laboratory to the patient. Translational research involves transferring knowledge from basic research to prevention and treatment of problems detected in the clinic. It aims to minimize the distance between laboratory results and patient care.

Therefore, they began to measure the effect of vitamin D in patients who already use the nutrient but had kidney problems. Then, they started monitoring using flow cytometry and other complementary tests as measuring vascular function, endothelial function and nitric oxide levels. The next step is to observe in patients with hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases, if vitamin D also has secondary preventive effect.

In conclusion, Bruno Peral said only a blood sample can predict whether these cells are increased and strengthen intake of vitamin D for repair and secondary prevention in patients with cardiovascular disease. While Joo Turoni added that the research shows a new side of this nutrient, which could protect the arteries of people, even before vascular damage occurs.

The researchers received the Bicentennial Award for their presentation during the Third Multidisciplinary Congress of Cardiology, held in Tucuman and involving more than 500 professionals in the country and about a hundred researches were presented.

The Higher Institute for Biological Research (INSIBIO) is the first institute of dual dependence in Tucuman (CONICET-UNT), and is made up of four working groups: the Developmental Biology, Nutritional Biochemistry, Physiology and Bioengineering. It is located in Chacabuco 461 in San Miguel de Tucuman and brings together a hundred people, including researchers, administrative and support staff.

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